What is Mamajuana?

Mamajuana, or Mother Jane in english, is a drink of many names and a drink with many forms. Everyone you ask will have a different interpretation to offer and a different understanding of its history. Some may even offer their opinion on it’s purported medical and health benefits. Since the post-columbus addition of alcohol, many have said that the tincture leeches the restorative properties of the plants added to it, giving it medical power.

The history of Mamajuana is a long and storied one. Mamajuanas origins lie with the Tiano people of the Dominican Republic. The Tiano people did not mix their Mamajuana with alcohol, it was an herbal tea or tincture. This drink may have its origins over 8 centuries ago, well before the invention of the Rums with which it is blended now. Rum is said to have been invented in the 17th century on Barbados. Rum came to what is now the Dominican Republic and making its way into Mamajuana not too long after. European wine was blended with Tiano Mamajuana in this time period by Christopher Columbus. It was banned in the 1930s by the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina, save by a doctors prescription. The drink as it is enjoyed today was popularized in the 1950s by Jesus Rodriguez, of San Juan De La Maguana. In the ensuing decades the drink became very popular with travelers and eventually rose to international renown.

Mamajuana is a drink with many beliefs swirling around it. Its medical benefits were so widely claimed that for a while it was prescribed by doctors. There are those who believe Mamajuana is excellent for digestion and who will swear by it as a nutritional aid. To some Mamajuana is a panacea for whatever cold or flu may ail you. Mamajuana is to others a kidney and liver tonic, a one-shot solution to purifying the blood. To others still Mamajuana is the ultimate aphrodisiac and intimate aide, having earned many suggestive nicknames over the years. To all Mamajuana is a delicious drink, whose rich taste and potent effects make the ensuing debate over its effects all the more engaging.

Mamajuana is made first by gathering herbs, grinding up the necessary spices and shedding bark. These herbal ingredients are combined with honey, rum and red wine and left to sit. When the drink is ready it looks like Port Wine of a deep red. The spices and herbs use vary by region of production. They often include: Anamu, Star Anise, basil, Canelila, albahaca, Bojucco Caro, Maguey and Timacle. Servers often add cinnamon, raisins, strawberry, sugar, molasses, lemon and lime.
You can buy Mamajuana online in prepackaged dry packets, which can be made by the consumer. Mamajuana is also for sale in bottles with or without filtration. These readily available ways to buy Mamajuana has led to a demand amongst mixologists, who find that it is gaining an international audience. There is no best Mamajuana brand, but Don Erick, Anteroz and Candela are all Dominican exports available for purchase online. If you are interested in trying this drink you can buy some of our alchohol free mamajuana mixes for sale at our store.